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Even India was “harassed” by the UNHCR over Kashmir, he said. “Sri Lanka is like a volley ball. Everyone is taking turns punching it to cover up their sins.” On the issue of a political solution for the Tamil people, he said that unless the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), an umbrella group of Tamil parties, joined the Parliamentary Select Committee, there could be no way forward. “Without TNA [in the committee], I will not be able to do anything… Earlier, all the leaders gave their solutions from the top. It has failed. The 13th Amendment has failed. Everything has failed,” he said.

Mr. Rajapaksa allayed fears that MPs of the majority community would hijack the agenda, pointing out that some individuals and parties in the government would not allow it to happen.

The President said he had not discussed with India its support to Sri Lanka at the UNHRC. “India must know its duty, as a neighbour…, as a friend of Sri Lanka. I can’t dictate to India.” Referring to External Affairs Minister Salman Kurshid’s comments in Parliament on accountability for alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka, he insisted that Sri Lanka had held people accountable for excesses. “We have filed cases… We have handed down punishments. But this can be only done as per the laws of this country, I have released 14,000 [LTTE] prisoners who had serious charges against them like murder after a process of rehabilitation,” he said.